With more consumers  going online to find better deals, online retailers are feeling optimistic about sales over the current economy downturn, according to Forrester Research.

Nearly three quarters of the more than 60 online retailers recently surveyed said they believe online merchants will fare better than bricks-and-mortar stores in the months ahead, the Cambridge, Mass.-based research firm reported.

Most consumers feel online stores offer better value and convenience, the report said.

About two thirds of the online retailers surveyed said they expect either an upturn in business  or steady sales over the next 12 months. Only a third said they were bracing for a downturn, the survey found.

"Although the online sales growth rate will be lower than in years past because of lowered consumer confidence and credit working against all of retail, the good news is that this growth will still outpace nearly every other sector of consumer spending," Sucharite Mulpuru, the report's lead researcher, said in a statement.